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Increase Your Sales Prowess


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Nail Down The Sales

The past few weeks I have been showing small to medium size business owners how to get leads from the different verticals – web, media, print. The next step after getting a lead is to generate the sale. Selling is unnatural to most people. It’s a difficult game of give and take and it is probably the hardest thing for any business owner. Everyone knows the cliche’s like don’t give up when the customer says no, and be persistent. Unfortunately, not many people know how to respond when someone answers no, or they may feel bothersome by being overly persistent. Today, I will cover a few tricks you can use to turn your leads into sales.

Sales

Here is a list of a few strategies I will be covering today:
1. Turn your Weaknesses into strengths
2. Use Your Past Successes
3. Have A Plan
4. Find Pain Points
5. Be Professional
6. Build Trust
7. Know When To Quit
8. Don’t Diminish Your Brand/Product

1. Turn Your Weaknesses Into Your Strengths

Small businesses have a ton of weaknesses that other larger brands can expose. However, these weaknesses can also be portrayed as strengths. For instance, the fact that you don’t have as many clients means you will have more time to focus on this potential client. You aren’t spending money on a fancy luncheon, because you like to keep all of your clients dollars within the project. For everything you don’t have as a small business there are things you can provide that large brands cannot. You will have better customer service, you will pay more attention to individual clients, your building your reputation so your more motivated to do a better job. Strengths and weaknesses are a matter of perception. If you can justify why you do and don’t do certain things you can portray a much stronger brand image to your potential customers.

2. Use Your Past Success

As a small business owner you have less clients so the ones that you do have you did an excellent job for. Use these past performances in your sales approach. The hardest thing for a customer to overcome with a small business is they don’t recognize your name so they can’t fully trust you. However, you can use your quality and attention to detail of previous clients to show the new potential clients how reputable your business is.

A great way to build trust quickly is to find bigger brands that have come up short for customers. Find the times when a customer got let down with a big brand and turned to you to clean up the mess and get the job done correctly. You will get a big leg up if you can show the customer that you have the best service.

3. Have A Plan

build a plan
Now not everything goes according to plan, and during a sales meeting their will undoubtedly be questions or responses you were not prepared to answer when you came into the meeting. This is okay. You can always say I’ll get back to you on that after I talk with so and so at my firm. because he handles this responsibility. Now, you can’t say that for everything, and that is why it’s very important you approach each lead with a plan of attack.

A good plan is to find as much information about a client as you can. You can ask their employees about what they think are the problems within the organization, you can use social media to see if they are having and struggles or successes in their business. Any way you can dig up information about the lead to understand what they need is very important and time well spent.

4. Find Pain Points

All the information you dug up when building a plan is how you will find the pain points for the lead. Pain points are problems they experience on a regular basis that they cannot solve on their own. The key to building trust with the client is to walk them trough their pain points and show how you helped others overcome similar problems in the past.

5. Be Professional

Always be professional when dealing with new leads. A professional shows up to meetings on time, gets back to clients diligently, dresses appropriately, and sets reasonable expectations. Image also plays a big role in building up your brand and personal reputation.

6. Build Trust

build trust
A few of the previous steps were an integral part of building trust with the clients. Usually, the hesitation during any sale comes from lack of trust. If you have hit the customers pain points, and discovered they are in need of your product/service, but they are still weary of purchasing because you have not built enough trust with the potential customer yet. To build trust use your previous success, speak in a language they can understand, and make sure the customer can relate with you. Building trust is the key to building sales.

7. Know When To Quit

Sometimes, there are potential clients that will be to hard to nail down, they don’t have the budget, they are not the decision makers. It is important to quickly diagnose any of these symptoms so you can leave without any significant time wasted. As a small business it’s understandable to want to nail down every client that ever walks through your door or responds to an advertisement. When I first started out I though the more clients I brought on the better it would be for my business. This couldn’t be further from the truth. When you are pursuing clients make sure they are the decision makers and they have the money to spend.

8. Don’t Diminish Your Brand/Product

One of the first clients I took on in my business didn’t not have the full budget to do everything I laid out for him. I was eager to get a sale so I negotiated with him and had to remove some key services in order to make the sale profitable. Unfortunately, the services I was removing were an integral part for the success of the overall plan. Without those key pieces the services would never work as promised. I explained this to the client up front. Several months later after doing work for the client I started getting complaints that it wasn’t working well enough or as advertised. I explained to him that because he didn’t have enough budget I wasn’t able to provide the full service and it would never work as good as it was supposed to. Of course all the blame was placed on me.

This was a great lesson to learn early on however. Every potential client is going to try to get more out of you for less. As a good salesman and a good business owner their are things you just cannot afford to negotiate on. Not only did I make that client unhappy, I also lost a case study I could use for future sales. Never ever sacrifice the quality of your product or service because someone wants to get it done cheaply. When this happens to me now I simply explain that I cannot alter the service or you will be unhappy, and it will make me look bad.

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